So much of my gaming involves a group, more often then not games involving 5 or 6 players, that it can be really nice to find something that plays for two. I stumbled across a copy of the hard to find Patchwork a week ago. I know making a quilt doesn't sound like the most enthralling theme, but this is a fabric woven by Uwe Rosenberg. We've only had a handful of plays this past week but the depth to such a simple game is becoming clear. It's a small scale mix of spatial, time and resource management, it blends so well. You really have to weigh up picking a piece of fabric to fit on your board, look at what pieces you may be leaving for your opponent and see how much time you may be saving or wasting in the process. Hoping to weave more quilts than boatload of aunties.
|At the Gates of Loyang|
From one Uwe stop to another, this time he take us to China and turns us into farmers growing and selling their vegetables outside the city of Loyang. I equate this to a gamer version of Diner Dash. You have customers that have to be satisfied each round, if you manage that you get a payout, if you fail you can suffer a cash penalty as they become dissatisfied. Of course much of this can be mitigated by getting trading stalls of your own or by hiring helpers. I had fun in my first play of this one and hope to get a chance to travel to those gates again soon. Adding another Uwe to my played list is always a bonus.
Captains of Industry
One of my gaming group regulars owns this game and has been wanting me to try it out, so this past Sunday I got a chance to play a full game. It has fairly good economic mechanics in which you produce goods and set the price but then opponents can under cut you and sell their items first, grabbing the all important market share. It can take planning to figure out how to maximize your shares, but it can be hard to plan with the randomness of the end of each age, of which there are three. At the end of each round cards are drawn to advance the age and the wrong pull at the wrong time can see your well-laid plan falling apart. I feel there are other games that do the same but better, will skip this stop the next time round.
The final highlighted stop this week is one I hadn't heard of before a friend of mine lent it to me. Upon opening the box I initially felt over-whelmed and that it would be a bear to learn due to all the talk about color creating and matching. However, a quick read through the rules with my family and we all had it down within a couple of rounds. The game is based around famous works of art, we have private commissions as well as a shared pool of paintings in the galley. On your turn you place a hex tile onto the table to line up colors to create more colors for your palette. With these created palette cards you can turn them in to complete your commissions and score points. Playing for the first few times was fun as we kept seeing the new pieces of art and had to stop for a second to ogle them. Will certainly get this to the easel again soon.
I kept returning to Asia to hang out with Marco Polo... I got to chop the heads off French nobles with a Guillotine... I figured out the chemical elements of a toad in Alchemists... and became the Black Sheep of poker.